Carey, Britt Expected to Be Among Retrans Hearing Headliners

Think tank representative could be possible add-on
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According to
a source with access to the tentative witness list for the
just-announced retransmission consent hearing in the Senate
Communications Subcommittee, it should include a lot of the expected
heavy hitters.

According to
the list, the invited witnesses for the Nov. 17 hearing are Chase Carey from News Corp., Glenn
Britt from Time Warner Cable (which has pushed hard and prominently
for retrans reform); Tom Rutledge of Cablevision;
Joe Uva from Univision (representing broadcasters), and
Charles Segars of Ovation (representing independent networks).

The hearing was prompted at least in part by the high-profile retrans impasse between Fox and Cablevision.

A think tank
representative could be a possible add-on, according to the source. An
FCC source said Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski is not expected
to testify. He has a prior speaking engagement
in San Francisco. Genachowski has publicly backed Subcommittee Chairman
John Kerry's proposal to review the retrans rules.  His draft bill is
expected to be part of the hearing conversation, though the hearing is
informational. There had also been talk early on that FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake could be invited, but he was not on the tentative list.

Broadcasters
do not want the government to step into the retrans issue, arguing it
is a marketplace negotiation that is working. Cable and satellite
operators argue that the system is broken, that
the government already has a thumb on the scale in favor of
broadcasters--must-carry requirements--and that the FCC needs to fix the
system.

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